LAKE FOREST — The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and Lake Forest Police Detectives are investigating an early morning shooting in downtown Lake Forest on January 3 in which two people died.
Shocked was the response from Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents when they learned of a shooting January 3 in downtown Lake Forest.
Lake Forest police officers responded to a call about gun shots in the 600 block of N. Western Avenue at 6:20 a.m. Officers located a deceased man in the parking lot behind Dunkin Donuts and a woman, age 27, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She was transported to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, where she died, according to Deputy Chief R.D. Copeland of the Lake Forest Police Department.
“Preliminary information gathered at the scene indicates this may have been related to a domestic dispute between the two deceased individuals,” said Copeland.
Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper arrived at the scene of the shooting in downtown Lake Forest shortly after 9 a.m. but would not comment to DNS at the time. A Navy police vehicle also was present.
Late on Wednesday, Dr. Cooper said he will release the names of the deceased and their autopsy results after all appropriate family notifications have been made.
As of Wednesday late afternoon, police had not released the names of the deceased. The Chicago Tribune reported that the woman was active-duty Navy and worked at Lovell Federal Health Center in North Chicago, which is next to Naval Station Great Lakes and about four and a half miles north of downtown Lake Forest. An email from Lake Forest College administrators to students stated that both victims were from the Naval Station.
At about the same time police arrived at the scene, Molly Forlow of Lake Bluff was exiting Starbucks on Western Avenue and saw a police car with sirens flashing at Deerpath Road and Western Avenue. As she drove the half-block to that intersection, she heard angry voices yelling and saw a man with his hands up in the air.
“Your mind goes places, of course,” she told DailyNorthShore. “I figured it was someone in Dunkin Donuts who had caused a commotion or problem. It was dark out. I definitely heard the loud back and forth, and as I was turning to go east over the railroad tracks, I saw hands up in the air.”
People in downtown Lake Forest a few hours after the shooting expressed shock in part because this was the second homicide in Lake Forest in just over two months. A man was killed in gang related gunplay Oct. 29 on Estate Lane.
“I’m just in shock,” said Carmela Heintzelman of Lake Bluff in a DNS interview. “I thought we lived in a bubble. This shows you nowhere is really a bubble.”
Alyson Gibson, a lifelong Lake Forest resident, said Wednesday morning she too was shocked.
“This is not the sort of thing we have in Lake Forest,” said Gibson. “Gun violence is so unfortunate,” she added referring to both Wednesday’s incident and the October 29 shooting. “People need to have less access to these weapons, in my opinion.”
Market Square and other local streets were blocked shortly after the shooting. As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Market Square was open but parts of Western Avenue were still closed.
Lake Forest Police were assisted in the investigation by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. LFPD Deputy Chief Copeland said not long after the incident was reported there was no risk of danger to the community.
Lake Forest High School sent an email to parents at 9 a.m. about incident but was advised by the police that there was no suspected danger to students, staff or the community at large. School opened on time.
DailyNorthSHore Editor Adrienne Fawcett contributed to this article.